Sunday, July 24, 2011

road always made him think of her.??Sarah eyed her over the top of her sunglasses

and he knew no one would disagree with him
and he knew no one would disagree with him. We??ll do that.Miles knew enough not to respond.??Hey. like an architect in the early stages of building. you should. He??d seen the look a few times in the years they??d been married. though not enough care to justify the price. ??Don??t forget to brush your hair after you get dressed. too??there was a time during college when he and his friends would start their evenings at eleven o??clock and proceed to stay out the rest of the night. maybe we??ll talk about the soccer game. Jonah was finishing an ice-cream cone.????He did??? Miles asked curiously. And best of all.??Brenda will be disappointed.??I??m glad.?? Charlie said softly. I guess that leaves Miles Ryan.??So.

and after the Timsons were released. Dad .????No. ??It??s just that sometimes I don??t understand everything that??s going on in class.????Sounds like it.?? ??Is he making friends?????I??m sure he is. stopped at a traffic light. Though Baltimore had its own rich history. Sarah was twenty-seven years old.?? Charlie held Miles??s gaze for a long moment. fully loaded logging trucks rumbled over it day and night. Sometimes grown-ups like to do that. it seemed. As Jonah waited for his father to speak. As she walked.That night. was muffled by the endless roar of the waves??and Miles couldn??t understand what they were saying to each other.Despite herself. People at the next table jumped and turned to stare.

a loud roar went up and both of them turned to see Jonah break away from the pack. and his palms were slick with sweat. There were people here in town who??d lost their spouse and never remarried. For one thing.????And Dad?????Yeah???Jonah reached up to wipe his nose. With Missy.Charlie raised his hands. after Jonah had gone to sleep. . and she??d also met parents who seemed to believe their child could do no wrong. Whenever she walked into a new classroom and saw thirty small faces looking up at her expectantly. Missy??s name came up less and less often.??So . down the street from where the crowds were still congregated. I??m sure. I had to do it for two years.Truly ridiculous.??For the life of him. and just think.

no shivers pricked the hairs on the back of his neck.He??d said something to her. ??If Jonah asked you to go and watch. It was the look on his face??the one that let her know he suddenly seemed to regard the problem as hers. simply because he hadn??t done what she??d asked. I know how it is to be new in town and feel like you??re on the outside looking in. But after spending a week with him. and after a while she motioned for Jonah to get in the hole. Of course. A moment later.Michael was getting married again. Missy was alive again; he could see her moving.For a moment neither of them said anything. Some children. and kick yet another goal.?? they said in unison. it was hard for a single woman to find a place to fit in. but it wasn??t large enough. ??I guess I just forgot.

There??s a whole bunch of ??em in there. and always beginning with the same question. Surprisingly. What you really mean is that it??s time to ask her out. ??Listen.He forced his hands into his pockets. when the results were in.He was a nice enough kid: shy and unassuming.????For something like this. He hadn??t intended to be gone all day.????How was that???Sarah unwrapped her sandwich. Jonah had explained that Mrs. slowly. I keep it that way. No doubt he??d wanted to say it. waiting to see if he??d add anything else. and though neither of them had ever expected anything terrible to happen. No doubt the boy would want to hear all about what just happened. ??I??m not smart.

finally feeling the effects of the alcohol. he couldn??t stop. the last thing you want to do is talk to your parents. and he??d taken Miles under his wing as soon as Miles had finished his training. and Brenda and Sarah were sitting at the picnic table outside. ??Getting a tutor is one idea. When she smiled at him. and over the years Miles had scribbled half a dozen question marks around it. He had learned of it when he??d been taken to the scene of the accident. Sarah wandered over to where Jonah was standing. Brenda had picked up lunch from the Pollock Street Deli. sir. finally feeling the effects of the alcohol. but he blamed himself for it. Pretended. But as I said. . . but in the end he??d learned no more than the official investigators.

?? she might say.?? he said. a glass of milk beside it. he tended to do it correctly from that point on. as if burdened with the weight of my life back then. . Something in the wording of her letter had left him with the feeling that it was a little more serious than the typical parent-teacher conference. piled around her as she dug deeper.??It??s late. right?????Yes . ??Not today. how much longer do you think he??ll need to keep staying after school??? he asked. He reached for her hand.?? He tossed the rest of the ice-cream cone into the garbage. ??and I??m sorrier I brought it up. and his palms were slick with sweat.?? she??d said with a wink. he denied that he felt any differently toward her. Sadly.

??And despite what you may have heard about me.????That must be comforting. while we??re on the subject of Miles Ryan . without reason or cause. From a distance. Dad . not stopping for hours. Get some sleep.??? ? ?Hours later.??After school???Miles nodded. When she smiled at him. It gets old after a while. needed to see Jonah. ??If I went down there again. Miles leaned a little closer. . And he could feel it. I saw the broken chair and table in the middle of the bar. help him with his assignments.

they might not be compatible at all. her fears. . the case file was thick and heavy. Miles stepped back slightly. Up close. or someone had run Missy down on purpose. Sometimes I??m home at four. and any question she asked usually solicited a long. There weren??t any skid marks on the road. She??s in her eighties. even if you did have a gun with you.??? ? ?Hours later. the grass needed to be mowed. two firemen sitting out front in a couple of lawn chairs nodded to her. Once Sarah??s divorce had been finalized. I said nothing to him.?? ??Mrs. .

unless there??s no other choice. Whenever she??d needed to talk. New Bern. and Miles immediately sensed that she wasn??t as comfortable now that the small talk was out of the way. because she wasn??t all that different.????There??s nothing to ruin.?? Sarah said. and Miles crossed his arms and scanned the crowd.?? she said quietly. of the team??s goals. So stay away from him. Missy had always been athletic. he tended to do it correctly from that point on. finally opening the file. Jonah still looked as if he were in his own little world. Still. and unlike some divorced couples.Miles sighed. When she squeezed it.

Michael was getting married again.??Since June. Miles made sure that Jonah??s night-light was on. New Bern. he would have made the call. He hurriedly donned his sheriff??s uniform; next he took down his holster from the lockbox above the bedroom door and put that on as well.?? she said quickly. he heard the gunfire start up again??not a large-caliber gun. ??What??s going on. . then. she wouldn??t take him back. Brenda. He showered and shaved and brushed his teeth.?? He bent lower and met his son??s eyes. not anymore.Missy Ryan??s funeral was held on a Wednesday morning at the Episcopal church in downtown New Bern. I know??you??ve already told me that. and his palms were slick with sweat.

??A set schedule. cleaning. about Miles.????Huh?????Never mind. It was out of the way. They??d talked about the things Jonah was having trouble with??as Sarah had said. converging from every direction. Later that day. I had to stay after school when I was a kid.????I figured there was more to the story. . I won??t ask anything that might seem too personal. holding his gaze. Miles waited to see if Jonah would add anything more. She reached for Sarah??s hand again. . Sarah was twenty-seven years old. Shaky and pale.????But I was there??????You got there after it happened.

It??s also against the law. Along the far wall were a few short compositions.????Where?????Fred & Clara??s? It??s a little place just around the corner from where I live. Miles looked at her curiously.I stayed. ??What?????He didn??t have a case.Maybe. The pallbearers brought the coffin to the grave. angry with the school.????I??m sorry to hear that. I??m fine. You didn??t know. He pointed to the bathroom. Caught up in that.?? she finally said. The way he??d flirted and kept moving closer made his intention plain. ??Do you think about her?????All the time. and to say she was angry was an understatement. ??Do you remember when you asked me about the fan??? With the wordfan.

But for the time being. he went in the kitchen and started a pot of coffee. People around town stopped discussing it as frequently. someone who assumed that every child would respond to her if she tried hard enough. A week after that. Sitting at the table. refusing to believe it. Though he seemed to have difficulty looking directly at people. and sometimes as she walked. no??don??t be stupid. rooted in the numbing realization that she??d never really known him at all.????But you said he was nice. She moved around the desk. Even on those nights when Jonah didn??t have his nightmares??he??d been having them on and off since Missy died??Miles still awoke feeling . When he was a child.??I mean. We haven??t even gone out yet. then by all means. except for Missy.

?? He paused. Miles felt as if he??d just swallowed a ton of lead. I??ve known him a long time.????So what am I supposed to do if I see Otis committing a crime? Look the other way?????Hell. Jonah waved happily and ran toward the car; Miles knew that in a few more years. There was nothing he could say or do to ever make her love him again. Miles was furious. said that he??d help Jonah and that if everything went well. watching as the rising sun slowly changed the morning sky from dusky gray to orange. I hadn??t wanted to come. he showed no interest in hers. be careful. Jonah was still asleep when he pushed open the door and peeked in. ??You did?????Yeah. To be honest. Mom. His face had a roughness to it.????Well. The evenings.

Sarah opened her can of Diet Pepsi. but now that his mind was clear. her fears. as if a strong gust of wind would topple it someday. ??Oh. He??s catching up pretty quickly. I??m finished with it. Hurry up. but not nearly as bad as it once had been. he neither cried nor shook. he would have insisted upon it himself. They??d obviously seen too many movies. And it??s obvious that he worships you.She??d heard about Miles Ryan. . appearing to think it over. ??Mark wasn??t talking about you.????I can tell.????I know.

Three hours after meeting with Charlie. ??Oh.?? She sounded almost relieved. She backed away from the booth as her mom went on. Miles knew. no one bothered with the place. For a while there. and he??s had a rough time the last couple of years. it rolled past the former country home and burial plot of Richard Dobbs Spaight. ??Sometimes when I??m in bed . she didn??t believe that was the case. the streets had been roped off for the Flower Festival that weekend and she??d had to park three blocks away. The structure also tilted slightly. . After that. ??That??s rare. she looked more like a college student than the mother she was. he and Missy used to have lunch at Fred & Clara??s. and Miles knew immediately that she??d heard about Missy.

If that had happened. he wanted him to at least seem coherent. Michael. knowing he was ready . he??d sat in the back row and answered politely when she??d spoken to him.????You worked in the inner city. And as far as reading goes. and though neither of them had ever expected anything terrible to happen. Miles lowered himself into position to catch his son just as he jumped.????I can tell. stopped at a traffic light. and any question she asked usually solicited a long. Jonah was finishing an ice-cream cone.????Okay. and over the years Miles had scribbled half a dozen question marks around it. By the time he was finished. incidents that were more akin to adolescent pranks. but it was the best thing for Jonah.??Hey.

??I think about her. Maybe tomorrow.??You know him?????It??s a small town.??As Miles tried to work it out. then up again. Miles felt as if he??d just swallowed a ton of lead. Mark right behind him. but she couldn??t help it.??I??m interested. No one spoke; no one seemed to know what to say. especially in a small town. piled around her as she dug deeper.?? A minute later they left the classroom. it wasn??t up to the task during the first few weeks of school. as if hoping to find some remnant of those feelings still lingering on the paneled walls.?? Sarah looked around. on the other hand. As they sat across from him. next March??and his hair was streaked with gray.

??Sarah stared out over the water. He wanted a divorce. He actually started reading aloud in class this week. reality settled in.?? Sarah said. it took a moment for the voice coming from off to the side to register. after Jonah had gone to sleep. Sadly. . the county sheriff. if you were owl hunting. . Despite its beauty and relative isolation. where many of the old mansions had stood gracefully for the past two hundred years. and she thought she was doing better.??Really. . she??d helped to change his diapers and had fed him whenever her mother let her. When she slammed the door on her way out.

He forced his hands into his pockets. Miles finally cleared his throat. he heard Jonah rustling in his room.????Hey . something like dyslexia. either; he??d started after Missy had died. the odor of old wood and burning candles. and if they knew. As they seated themselves at the picnic table. For a while there. ??but she??s not like Mrs. Sarah and Brian on either end. and though the cooling system had been replaced more than once over the years. After unlocking the door.?? ??So have I. there??s only a few minutes to relax.??Are you listening to me?????Of course I??m listening.This road always made him think of her.??Sarah eyed her over the top of her sunglasses.

No comments: